Old Mill Road Gets Me Again
Drivers in Mount Vernon know that Old Mill Road can be a speed trap.
One of the roles of our local police is to ensure that our roads are safe to drive on. That’s why they set up sobriety check points (which fortunately for me are always printed in advance in the newspapers), pull over vehicles whose inspections have expired, and go after those scofflaws who think the yellow light means “Accelerate Now!”
But, for gosh darned sakes – do they really need to have a permanent speed trap on Old Mill Road?
I am not gonna say how many tickets I have gotten in the last few years for “speeding” down Old Mill Road. But I remember the last one very clearly. It was a quiet Sunday morning. I was driving west (or is it south?) on Route 235 or Old Mount Vernon Highway or Mount Vernon Memorial Highway or whatever the name of that street is when I made a fateful right hand turn onto Old Mill Road. Suddenly, I was driving downhill heading towards Adrienne Lane. As I would soon find out, I was going 38 miles per hour down that hill. That is about as fast as that kid in the wheelchair in “Glee” goes when he does some of the dance routines. The problem, of course, as most folks in Mount Vernon know, the official speed limit on that road is a snail’s paced 25 MPH.
So, I’m cruising down Old Mill Road and I see a lone figure walking across the street. I slow to down to 25, which means second gear, when I notice with horror that the person has now stopped in the middle of the street and is facing my car head on.
#()*#)(@()(^&*, I whispered to myself. Well, okay, maybe I did wake up a few people as I screamed out the window.
As I approached the solitary figure, I notice his distinctive blue uniform and saw that he was waving me to the side of the road. Like a good citizen, I put my left blinker on, hoping the policeman would see how good a driver I was and pulled over. Sweating palpably, I glanced in my side view mirror and watched as the policeman approach my car.
Being a smooth talker, I figured I could reason with him. “Officer, I am so sorry but you caught me going downhill and I was thinking about my dying dog and the famine in Somalia and…”
“License and registration, please.”
I gave him my license and nervously reached into the glove compartment for the registration, but mistakenly handed him my lifetime membership card to MVC Video. Recovering quickly, I gave him the correct paperwork. By that time, I knew I was dead meat. He wrote me up and being a true New Yorker, I was extremely polite and thanked him for keeping our roads safe from scofflaws like me.
Look, I totally get the reason for speed traps but this one on Old Mill is a real humdinger. We’ve all seen the police there, straddling their motorcycles, wearing those dark reflecting sunglasses like that cop in “Psycho,” aiming that radar gun right between our eyes. They are constantly pulling over cars that are going at blazing speeds of 36, 37 or even 38 miles per hour. The irony, of course, is that if I had a hankering to simulate the Indy 500, I could go in front of Mount Vernon High School on the weekend, where the speed limit is 35, and go as fast as 45 mph all day long! What is up with dat?
I know the law is the law, but it just feels to me that the speed limit was lowered to 25 years ago just to catch people who are not driving a horse and buggy. That doesn’t seem right to me. On the other hand, whenever I turn that corner, I now put my old jalopy into second gear and sit back and enjoy the scenery on Old Mill Road. Hmmmmm…